The Values of making Mistakes
Becoming successful through making mistakes. Sounds strange, doesn’t it? Can there actually be a link between making mistakes and success? The answer to this question is a Yes! As human beings we often get it wrong — mistakes are common. Unfortunately, we tend to view our errors as failures and sometimes stop trying. We overlook the possibility that the seeds of success are planted within them. However, it's how we deal with our shortcomings that really matters.
Let me share with you some of the hidden benefits.
Learning from mistakes requires three things:
• Being courageous about making changes. Becoming successful in life requires that we take risks, and risks often involve failure. Provided we choose to learn from them, our mistakes can be our greatest teachers.
• Having the self-confidence to admit them. It is important to remember that we are all fallible human beings. Errors get our attention in this way, and help us become more understanding of ourselves and others’.
• Mistakes lead to personal growth and development. It is human to resist growth and change. We prefer to stick with what’s familiar. Determination to get it right may encourage us to step out on a limb and try something different.
Being afraid of taking a good look at ourselves and acknowledging that we got it wrong is really a lack of self-esteem. In the same way we are often afraid to ask for feedback. A few months ago I joined our local Toastmasters group. Toastmasters is about helping people to become competent public speakers. Each of us gives a speech and then we get instant feedback. I have learned more in these few weeks from listening to my ‘shortcomings’, than I learned previously from people telling me how good I was. Yes, praise is great, but critical, constructive feedback is as important. Unfortunately few people are comfortable with giving and receiving this kind of feedback.
Maximize the Values of making Mistakes
• Acknowledge feelings of disappointment, loss and annoyance about not getting it right. These feelings are normal and it is OK to allow yourself time to experience them.
• Step back and put what happened in perspective. Remember other mistakes you have made, and how you’ve gotten past them.
• Take some time to answer the following questions: What will you do differently in the future? What else have you learned from this experience? What possible silver lining can you find in this?
• Talk to a mentor or trusted friend if necessary. Her/his moral support will prove invaluable. Better yet, maybe she’ll share some of her past mistakes, and you’ll both get a good laugh over the situation.
• If your mistake has impacted someone else, acknowledge it and sincerely apologize for it.
• Where appropriate, let others know what you’ve learned from your mistakes. Your input may keep them from repeating your errors. It will also show them know that you are vulnerable.
• Once you have taken the above steps, stop beating yourself up. Blaming yourself will merely drain your energy and keep you from moving forward.
People’s mistakes are rarely intentional. They usually occur as the result of ignorance, lack of awareness or knowledge. Cut yourself and others some slack and with care and attention you can turn them into gifts; gifts, which will benefit you and the people around you for a lifetime.
With my best wishes for your success,
Life & Leadership Coach